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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2015 Jun;23(2):142-8.

Severity, Causes and Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injuries Occurring at Different Locations: Implications for Prevention and Public Health.

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Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Work, Trnava University, Trnava, Slovakia.
International Neurotrauma Research Organisation (INRO), Vienna, Austria.



Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a major public health problem. Although they are well studied, information on some aspects, such as the place of occurrence, is limited. The aim of this study was to describe the patterns of severity, causes and outcomes of TBI occurring at different locations and to identify the primary populations at risk of suffering TBI at each of the analysed locations.


1,818 patients with TBI admitted to hospitals in Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia were analysed. Primary populations at risk, injury severity and extent along with short/long-term outcomes were analysed for TBI at each location.


The highest mean age (57.9 years, p<0.001) was observed in injuries at home. The distribution of injury causes across the group was significantly different (p<0.001), with falls (39%) and traffic accidents (30%) being predominant. TBI occurring on roads or highways were the most severe (mean ISS=32.5, p<0.001; mean GCS=7.8, p<0.001). Injuries at home had the worst outcome (50% mortality, p<0.001 and 70% unfavourable outcome, p<0.001) whereas TBI at sport facilities or outdoors had the best outcome (24% mortality, 44% unfavourable outcome). When adjusted for age and severity, TBI occurring at home had the highest odds of mortality (OR=3.12, 95% CI=1.86-5.25) and unfavourable outcome (OR=2.51, 95% CI=1.54-4.08), compared to sports facility and outdoors as a reference.


TBI at different locations display distinctive patterns as to causes, severity, outcome and populations at risk. Location is therefore a relevant epidemiological aspect of TBI and we advocate its inclusion in future studies. Definitions of primary populations at risk at different locations could help in targeted public health actions.


epidemiology; injury severity; outcome; prevention; trauma location; traumatic brain injury

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